ERIC Number: ED340611
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Feb
Critical Analysis of an Elementary Science Curriculum: Bouncing around or Connectedness? Elementary Subjects Center Series No. 32.
Eichinger, David; Roth, Kathleen J.
This paper is based on a portion of the curriculum analysis of elementary science textbooks that was conducted as part of a larger Elementary Subjects Center study of curriculum materials used in literature, mathematics, science, social studies, and the arts. A commonly used elementary science curriculum series, Silver Burdett and Ginn's "Science," was analyzed using a set of framing questions addressing a number of categories including goals, content selection, teacher-student relationships and classroom discourse, activities and assignments, assessment and evaluation, and directions to the teacher. The focus of this paper is on the analysis of the series in terms of content organization and sequencing and content explication. The content organization of the services is described and analyzed from the perspective of students' conceptual development, examining what students are likely to learn about science concepts from the series and how their understandings of concepts are likely to develop within and across grade levels. The analysis shows that the text series lacks sufficient development of three components of conceptual development identified by science education reformers: connectedness among concepts, connectedness to prior knowledge, and usefulness. The authors consider the issue of concept development in light of several practical realities of elementary science instruction and discuss several alternative visions of elementary science curriculum materials. A copy of the framing questions is appended. (29 references) (Author/KR)
Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Concept Formation, Content Analysis, Curriculum Development, Elementary Education, Elementary School Science, Science Activities, Science Curriculum, Science Education, Science Instruction, Textbook Content, Textbook Evaluation, Textbooks
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, East Lansing, MI.